Virtual Tourism

Virtual tourism, google maps mashup, google video

Popocatepetl Volcano, Mexico


Popocatepetl (commonly referred to as El Popo or Don Goyo) is an active volcano and the second highest peak in Mexico after the Pico de Orizaba (5,610m). Popocatepetl comes from the Nahuatl words popoca 'it smokes' and tepetl 'mountain', thus Smoking Mountain. Popocatepetl is linked to the Iztaccíhuatl volcano to the north by the high saddle known as the Paso de Cortes.

Popo is currently active. A major eruption occurred in 1947 to begin this cycle of activity. Then, on December 21, 1994 the volcano spewed gas and ash which was carried as far as 25 km away by prevailing winds. The activity prompted the evacuation of nearby towns and scientists to begin monitoring for an eruption. In December 2000, tens of thousands of people were evacuated by the government based on the warnings of scientists. The volcano then made its largest display in thousands of years.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: ,

Warren Avenue, Boston


Commonwealth Avenue (often abbreviated "Comm Ave" by locals) is a road in the city of Boston, Massachusetts beginning at the western edge of the Public Garden, and continuing west through the Back Bay, Kenmore Square, and the suburbs of Brighton and Chestnut Hill. It continues as part of Route 30 through Newton until it crosses the Charles River at the Weston border.

Often termed "Boston's Grand Boulevard" in the Parisian tradition, the street is divided at center by a large median (named the Commonwealth Avenue Mall) with greenery and statuary from its origin until it reaches Kenmore Square. It is this greenway that links the Public Garden and Boston Common to the rest of the Emerald Necklace. Upon reaching Kenmore, the MBTA Green Line "B" Branch rises above ground and dominates the center of the roadway through the Boston University Charles River Campus to the Newton border where it ends near Boston College. The section in Newton is made up of two roadways separated by a grassy, tree-lined median. The south side of the roadway contains the main, two-lane east-west roadway, with a one-way, westbound "carriage road" providing local access on the north side of the median.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: , ,

Koningsplein, Amsterdam


This entry is a webcam of Koningsplein in Amsterdam. Koningsplein is a square located between the two canals, Singel and Hernengracht.

Amsterdam, the official capital of the Netherlands, lies on the banks of two bodies of water, the IJ bay and the Amstel river. Founded in the late 12th century as a small fishing village on the banks of the Amstel, it is now the largest city in the country and is a financial and cultural centre. As of August 1, 2006, the population of the city proper is 741,329; the population of the official Greater Amsterdam area is approximately 1.5 million, but the real agglomeration is estimated at 2 to 2,5 million. Amsterdam is also one of the core urban centres of the greater metropolitan area called "Randstad" (Ring City) which encompasses other Dutch cities such as Haarlem, Utrecht, Leiden, The Hague and Rotterdam and has a population of over 7.5 million.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: , ,

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam


The Rijksmuseum ( Dutch for National Museum) is a national museum of the Netherlands, located in Amsterdam on the Museumplein. The Rijksmuseum is dedicated to arts, crafts and history. It has a large collection of paintings from the Dutch Golden Age and a substantial collection of Asian art.

The museum was founded in 1800 in The Hague to exhibit the collections of the Dutch stadtholders. It was inspired by the French example. By then it was known as the National Art Gallery (Dutch: Nationale Kunst-Gallerij). In 1808 the museum moved to Amsterdam on the orders of king Louis Napoleon, brother of Napoleon Bonaparte. The paintings owned by that city, such as The Night Watch (Dutch: De nachtwacht) by Rembrandt, became part of the collection.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: , ,

Paestum, Italy


Paestum is the classical Roman name of a major Graeco-Roman city in the Campania region of Italy. It is located near the coast about 85 km SE of Naples in the province of Salerno and belongs to the comune of Capaccio.

Founded around the start of the 7th century BCE by Greek colonists, and originally known as Poseidonia, it later became the Roman city of Paestum in 273 BCE after the Graeco-Italian Poseidonians sided with the loser, Pyrrhus, in war against Rome during the first quarter of the 3rd century BCE.

The city remained in continuous occupation throughout the Roman imperial period, but started to go into decline between the 4th and 7th centuries. It was abandoned during the Middle Ages and its ruins only came to notice again in the 18th century, following the rediscovery of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The decline and desertion were probably due to changes in local land drainage patterns, leading to swampy malarial conditions (this is difficult to picture, with the present aridity; the site is now left to lizards and a few tourists).

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: ,

Palm Island, Jumeirah


The Palm Islands in Dubai are the three largest artificial islands in the world, being constructed by Nakheel Properties, the premier property developer in the United Arab Emirates; they are known as The Palm Jumeirah, The Palm Jebel Ali and The Palm Deira.

The islands were the vision of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who recognized the Dubai's potential as a tourist destination. Each settlement is in the shape of a palm tree, topped with a crescent, and has a large number of residential, leisure and entertainment opportunities, all within a unique and inspiring setting. Located off the coast of Dubai in the Persian Gulf The Palm islands make a sizeable contribution to the city’s coastline, adding a total of 520 kms of beachfront.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: ,

Nyhavn, Copenhagen


Here is a webcam of Nyhavn in Copenhagen. Nyhavn (lit. "New Harbor") is a popular area in Copenhagen, Denmark with both locals and tourists. The street is lined with many small bars and restaurants facing out to a picturesque harbor. In warmer weather people fill every available table in the outdoors seating area in front of every restaurant. And even in cooler weather the heartier types sit outdoors with a beer and a blanket, provided by the restaurant on each seat, over their legs.

Less formal seating is on the edge of the harbour with bring-your-own beer. It is not uncommon to see groups of young people sitting along the waterfront with beer, enjoying the sunshine, the crowds and the street entertainment.

It is the starting point for various canal tour excursions, and is located near Kongens Nytorv, at one end of Strøget, and near the start of Langelinie, which leads to Amalienborg Palace.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: , ,

Pier 39, San Francisco


Today's entry is a webcam of Pier 39 in San Francisco.

Pier 39 is a shopping center and popular tourist attraction built on a pier. Around the Pier there are shops, restaurants, a video arcade, street performances, ferry trips to Alcatraz, an interpretive center for the Marine Mammal Center, an aquarium, virtual 3D rides, and views of California sea lions hauled out on docks on Pier 39's marina.

The Pier is located at the edge of the Fisherman's Wharf district and is close to both North Beach, Chinatown, and the Embarcadero. The area is easily accessible via the historic F Market streetcars.

From the Pier you can see Angel Island, Alcatraz, and The Golden Gate Bridge.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: , ,

Luxor Hotel, Las Vegas


The Luxor Hotel is a hotel casino located on the famed Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States, and was one of the resort city's first fully-themed megaresorts. Ground was broken for the Luxor in 1991, the same year that construction began on the Treasure Island and the current MGM Grand. It has an Ancient Egyptian motif and contains a total of 4,407 rooms lining the interior walls of a hollow pyramid and contained within two twin ziggurat towers. It opened on October 15, 1993.

It is located on the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip, opposite McCarran International Airport. The resort is flanked by the Mandalay Bay to the south and by the Excalibur to the north; all three are connected by free express and local trams. All three properties were built by Mandalay Resort Group, formerly known as Circus Circus Enterprises.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: , ,

Elephant Enclosure, San Diego Zoo


Another webcam, overlooking the elephant enclosure at San Diego Zoo.

The world-famous San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park, San Diego, California is one of the largest, most progressive zoos in the world with over 4,000 animals of more than 800 species. It is privately operated by the nonprofit Zoological Society of San Diego on 100 acres of parkland leased from the City of San Diego, and ownership of all animals, equipment and other assets rests with the City of San Diego.

The Zoo offers a guided tour bus that traverses 75% of the park. There is an overhead gondola lift that provides an aerial view of the Zoo and is a quick way to move from opposite ends of the Zoo.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: , ,

Nagoya Castle


Nagoya Castle ( Nagoya-jo?) is located in Nagoya Aichi, Japan. Imagawa Ujichika built the original castle around 1525. Oda Nobuhide took it from Imagawa Ujitoyo in 1532, but later abandoned it.

In 1610, Tokugawa Ieyasu ordered the various daimyo to help with the building of a new castle on the site. The castle's construction was completed in 1612. Until the Meiji Era, the castle was the home of the Owari clan of the Tokugawa family.

On top of the castle are two golden imaginary tiger-headed fishs , called kinshachi; this motif is used as a talisman for fire prevention. They are said to be a symbol of the feudal lord's authority. Both kinshachi were temporarily lowered from atop the castle and displayed on the castle grounds, and briefly at the site of the Expo 2005 from March 19th until June 19th of 2005, and were restored to the castle on July 9th the same year. As preparation for the World Expo plaques with English were added to most displays as well as a 3D movie showing the paintings in Hommaru Palace.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: , ,

Kirkwood Mountain Resort, USA


Today we have added another webcam, this time so you can check out the snow in Kirkwood. The main attraction of Kirkwood, California, is the Kirkwood Mountain Ski Resort. The town is accessible by California State Route 88.

Zack Kirkwood, a cattle rancher who had settled in the area, opened an inn, named Kirkwood's, in 1863 with the opening of the Amador/Nevada Wagon Toll Road, the primary route through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The following year, Alpine County was created and the redrawing of the county borders placed the inn at the convergence of Alpine, El Dorado, and Amador counties (the borders were later changed so the inn is no longer in El Dorado County, but the original signpost marking the intersection of the three is still in the building). Eventually, the inn became a fashionable summer resort.

After Zack's death, the inn stayed in the family and continued to operate until 1966, when it was sold to an investment group, who then converted it into the present-day Kirkwood Mountain Ski Resort. The original building (still standing) is registered as California Historical Landmark.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: , ,

Waikiki Beach, Hawaii


This webcam shows Waikiki Beach in Hawaii. Waikiki Beach is the shoreline fronting Waikiki and one of the best known beaches in the world. The beach has had its problems because of groynes build-out from the shore. This has led to beach replenishment projects in the past. In the 1920s and 1930s sand was obtained from Manhattan Beach, California, and transported via ship and barges to Waikiki. One disastrous sand replenishment project involved a man-made sand that the gentle surf turned into a concrete-like surface.

After Google Maps loads wait a few seconds for the webcam to load. The webcam times out after five minutes. If this happens refresh the page. If that doesn't work close the window and return to page after a few minutes.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License

View on Google Maps

Labels: ,

Berliner Dom


The Berliner Dom or Berlin Cathedral in Berlin, Germany was built between 1895 and 1905. It faces the Lustgarten and the Berliner Stadtschloss (Berlin City Palace).

The first church built near here in 1465 was the court chapel for the Hohenzollern family within the castle complex. Later the church of the Dominican Order (Schwarze Bruder), located at the south side of the castle, was used as the first cathedral. The first church at this site was a baroque cathedral by Johann Boumann, which was completed in 1747 and, in 1822, remodelled in the neoclassicist style by the Berlin architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel.

In 1894, on German Emperor Wilhelm II's order, this domed building was demolished and replaced by the current cathedral designed by Julius Raschdorff. At 114 m long, 73 m wide and 116 m tall, it was much larger than any of the previous buildings and was considered a Protestant counterweight to St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: , ,

Ipswich City Square, Australia


The latest in a probably shortlived series of webcams comes from Ipswich City Square in Australia. The webcam comes from ipswich-city.com.

Ipswich is a city and Local Government Area situated on the Bremer River in South East Queensland, Australia. It is located approximately 40 kilometres south-west of the state capital, Brisbane. The Ipswich LGA comprises an area of 1,207 km² and has a population of approximately 137,000.

Attractions include the Ipswich Art Gallery, the Workshops Rail Museum, steam trains, more than 500 parks, wineries, and cafes, restaurants, cinemas and shopping centres. Ipswich hosts regular national and local festivals and events such as the Queensland Open Golf Championships, Ipswich Cup-the city’s annual major horse race, Winternationals car drag races, Ipswich Festival and Ipswich Show.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: ,

River Liffey, Dublin


This webcam from Irish jewlery company Allcladdagh gives a great view of the famous River Liffey. As the camera pans around you can see other famous Dublin landmarks, such as the Ha'Penny Bridge, The Customs House, O'Connell Bridge and the IFSC (Irish Financial Service Centre).

The Ha'penny Bridge (known later for a time as the Penny Ha'penny Bridge) is a pedestrian bridge built in 1816 over the River Liffey in Dublin, Ireland. Originally called the Wellington Bridge (after the Duke of Wellington), the name of the bridge changed to Liffey Bridge, and somewhat surprisingly, the name remains as so to this day. However, due to its distinct shape as well as the original toll of one halfpenny, (later, one penny, two farthings) the more popular title of Ha'penny Bridge stuck in the minds of the natives. The toll itself was dropped in 1919; before this, turnstiles lay on either side of it.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: ,

Tallin Live Webcam, Estonia


In a bit of a departure from our normal embedded videos on Google Maps this entry provides a live webcam of Tallin, Estonia. Tallinn (recent historical name: Reval) is the capital city and main seaport of Estonia. It is located on Estonia's north coast to the Baltic Sea, 80 kilometres south of Helsinki.

The cam is situated on the edge of and looks over the historic old town of Tallin. You can see St. Olav's Church (Oleviste kirik), which was once the tallest church in the world and is still the tallest building in Tallinn.

The cam feed comes from Digital Tallin, which as well as featuring this web cam has a virtual tour of Tallin, an excellent photo tour and more information about the history of the town. Click on the 'Live' button under the cam picture to switch to the live cam view.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: ,

Kata Tjuta, Australia


Kata Tjuta, also known as Mount Olga (or colloquially as The Olgas), are large rock formations located in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, 465 km southwest of Alice Springs. These rock formations are a remarkable group of 36 domes, made from an mixture of Granite, Basalt and Mudstone.

They are about 25 km from Uluru in the Northern Territory of Australia. The tallest of the group, Mount Olga, stands 457 m in height. It is located at the eastern end of the Docker River Road.

The Pitjantjajara name Kata Tjuta means 'many heads'. The site is as sacred to the Indigenous people as Uluru.

The alternative name, The Olgas, comes from the tallest peak, Mt Olga. At the behest of Baron Ferdinand von Mueller, Mt Olga was named in 1872 by Ernest Giles, in honour of Queen Olga of Wurttemberg. She and her husband King Karl had marked their 25th wedding anniversary the previous year by, amongst other things, naming Mueller a Freiherr (baron), making him Ferdinand von Mueller; this was his way of repaying the compliment.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: ,

CITIC Plaza, Guangzhou


CITIC Plaza is an 80-story high-rise building or skyscraper built in Guangzhou, People's Republic of China. Its structural height is 391 m (1,283 ft) including two tall antenna-like spires on the top. When it was completed in 1997, it was the tallest building in the world outside of New York and Chicago, thus the tallest building in China and Asia. Currently, it ranks third in China, behind Jin Mao Building in Shanghai and Two International Finance Centre in Hong Kong, six in Asia and seventh worldwide in the high-rise ranking. It is, however, the tallest concrete building in the world.

Located in the growing and expanding Tianhe District, it is part of a complex of the same name which also consists of two 38-story residential buildings. Its proximity includes a new train station, a new metro station, and the Tianhe Sports Center, where the 6th National Games was held.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: , ,

Terracotta Army, Xi'an


The Terracotta Army or Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses is a collection of 8,099 life-size terra cotta figures of warriors and horses located near the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor. The figures were discovered in 1974 near Xi'an, Shaanxi province.

The terracotta figures were buried with the first Emperor of Qin (Qin Shi Huang) in 210-209 BC. Consequently, they are also sometimes referred to as "Qin's Armies".

The Terracotta Army was discovered in March 1974 by local farmers drilling a water well to the east of Mount Lishan. Mount Lishan is the name of the man-made necropolis of the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty. This is also where the material to make the terracotta warriors was made, and found. Construction of this mausoleum began in 246 BC and is believed to have taken 700,000 workers and craftsmen 38 years to complete.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels:

Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg


The State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia is one of the largest, oldest, most important and famous art galleries and museums of human history and culture in the world. The vast Hermitage collections are displayed in six buildings, the main one being the Winter Palace which used to be the official residence of the Russian Tsars.

Strong points of the Hermitage collection of Western art include Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Rubens, van Dyck, Rembrandt, Poussin, Claude Lorrain, Watteau, Tiepolo, Canaletto, Canova, Rodin, Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Cezanne, van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso, and Matisse. There are several more collections, however, including the Russian imperial regalia, an assortment of Faberge jewellery, and the largest existing collection of ancient gold from Eastern Europe and Western Asia.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: ,

Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens


The Temple of Olympian Zeus, also known as the Olympeion, is an ancient temple, now in ruins, in the centre of Athens. Although begun in the 6th century BC, it was not completed until the reign of the Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD. In the Hellenistic and Roman periods it was the largest temple in Greece.

The temple is located about 500 m south-east of the Acropolis, and about 700 m south of the centre of modern Athens, Syntagma Square. Its foundations were laid on the site of an earlier temple by the tyrant Pisistratus in 515 BC, but the work was abandoned when Pisistratus's son, Hippias, was overthrown in 510 BC.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: ,

Caserta Palace Gardens


The Caserta Palace, in Italian Palazzo Reale di Caserta, is a palace and former Royal residence in Caserta, near Naples, once used by the Kings of Naples. It was the largest palace and probably the largest building erected in Europe in the 18th century. In 1996, the Palace of Caserta was listed among the World Heritage Sites on the ground that it was "the swan song of the spectacular art of the Baroque, from which it adopted all the features needed to create the illusions of multidirectional space".

The gardens, a typical example of geometrical Italian style, stretch for 120 ha, partly on a hilly terrain. It is inspired to the park of Versailles, but it is commonly regarded as superior in beauty. The park starts from the back facade of the palace, flanking a long alley with artificial fountains and cascades.

The fountains and cascades, each filling a vasca ("basin"), with architecture and hydraulics by Luigi Vanvitelli at intervals along a wide straight canal that runs to the horizon, rivalled those at Peterhof outside St. Petersburg.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: , ,

Bern Munster


Bern Cathedral is Switzerland's largest ecclesiastical building. Construction started in 1421 and for generations thereafter work on this masterpiece continued under a series of different builders. It took until 1893 for the spire to be completed. The portal with its depiction of the Last Judgment is an outstanding feature. The vantage point of this masterpiece is located 344 steps above the entrance in the 100-meter-high cathedral spire.

The Cathedral is the most impressive example of Late Gothic architecture of the city. The basilica with its three naves towers above the roofs of Bern's old town.

Bern's city center is largely medieval and has been recognised by UNESCO as a Cultural World Heritage Site.

View on Google Maps

Labels: ,

More Google Maps & Video Mashups

I think I was the first to mash up Google Maps and video (I hadn't seen any before I started this blog, but I am willing to be proved wrong). I remember the first time I saw Google Maps and being amazed at the satellite imagery. Like everyone else I zoomed in on my house, then I started looking around at famous landmarks around the world. Pretty soon I started thinking wouldn't it be great to watch a video of these locations. And so the idea for Virtual Tourism was born.

To me this was such an amazing idea that I thought there would soon be loads of other sites with the same concept. Well about a year down the road and a number of sites have started to emerge.

These are the ones I've found and liked:

Mooom: This is a Japanese site. I think the site is a Japanese version of YouTube, where users can share videos (its in Japanese so I can't read it). The videos are then plotted on a Google Map. Most of the locations are in Japan but a few other locations are beginning to be plotted.

Video Map: This site has taken videos of Budapest from YouTube and placed them on a map of the city. Exclusively Budapest.

Virtual Video Map: This site has one hundred videos plotted on Google Maps. The site seems to have reached critical mass. Once you start plotting more than one hundred tags things can begin to start lagging. But it works well at the moment.

If you are interested in finding more I suggest you search the excellent Google Maps Mania which has links to at least 600 Google Maps mashups and which has been a great friend to this site.

Heroes' Square, Budapest


Heroes' Square (Hosok tere in Hungarian) is one of the major squares of Budapest, Hungary. It lies at the end of Andrassy Avenue (with which it comprises part of the World Heritage), next to City Park.

It is surrounded by two important buildings, Museum of Fine Arts on the left and Palace of Art (or Art Exhibition Museum) on the right. On the other side it faces Andrassy Avenue which has two buildings looking at the square one is residential and the other one is the embassy of Serbia (former Yugoslavian embassy where Imre Nagy secured sanctuary in 1956).

The central sight of the square, as well as a landmark of Budapest, is the Millennium Memorial (also known as Millennium Monument or Millenary Monument) with statues of the leaders of the seven tribes that founded Hungary in the 9th century and other outstanding figures of Hungarian history (see below). The construction of the memorial was started when the one thousandth anniversary was celebrated (in 1896), but it was finished only in 1929 and the square got its name then.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: ,

Italica Arena, Spain


The city of Italica (north of modern day Santiponce, 9 km NW of Seville, Spain) was founded in 206 BC by the Roman general Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus in order to settle Roman soldiers wounded in the Battle of Ilipa, where the Carthaginian army was defeated during the Second Punic War. The name Italica bound the colonia to their Italian origins.

Italica was the birthplace of the Roman philosopher Seneca, and Roman Emperors Trajan and Hadrian. Hadrian was generous to his home town, which he made a colonia; he added temples, including a Trajaneum venerating Trajan, and rebuilt public buildings. Italica's amphitheater seated 25,000 spectators, half as many as the Flavian Amphitheatre in Rome, and was the third largest in the Roman Empire. The city's Roman population at the time is estimated to have been only 80000. The games and theatrical performances funded by the local aristocracy, who filled the positions of magistrate, were a means of establishing status: the size of the amphitheater shows that the local elite was maintaining status that extended far beyond Italica itself.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: ,

Plitvice Lakes, Croatia


The Plitvice Lakes ( Croatian: Plitvicka Jezera) are a national park in Croatia,, in the Plitvice Lakes municipality, near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Plitvice Lakes lie in a basin of karstic rock, mainly dolomite and limestone, which has given rise to their most distinctive feature. The lakes are separated by natural dams of travertine, which is deposited by the action of moss, algae and bacteria. The encrusted plants and bacteria accumulate on top of each other, forming travertine barriers which grow at the rate of about 1 cm per year.

The lakes are renowned for their distinctive colours, ranging from azure to green, grey or blue. The colours change constantly depending on the quantity of minerals or organisms in the water and the angle of sunlight.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: ,

Roman Theatre, Cartagena


Cartagena was founded about 230 BC by Carthaginian general Hasdrubal as Qart Hadast, Punic for "new city". Hasdrubal extended the newly acquired Carthaginian empire in Iberia by skillful diplomacy, and consolidated it by the foundation of Qart Hadast in an excellent haven as the capital of a new province. Hannibal got silver from the mines there to carry on the war against Rome.

When it was taken by the Roman general Scipio Africanus Major in 209 BC it was renamed as Carthago Nova, Latin for "New Carthage". At the time Carthago Nova was said to be one of the richest cities in the world. The city gave its name (without the 'new') to the youngest province in the Hispaniae diocese, in the form of an adjective: Carthaginiensis.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: ,

Battersea Power Station


Battersea Power Station in London, England, the first part of which was completed in 1939, was the first in a series of very large (for the era) coal-fired electrical generating facilities set up in England as part of the National Grid power distribution system then being introduced. The grade II listed building is being converted to a large commercial and entertainment complex as the centrepiece of a project to rejuvenate the area.

Construction of the station started in 1929 and was completed by 1939. The original power station had a single long hall with a chimney at either end. From 1953 to 1955 a second Station B, identical from the outside, was constructed alongside the original, which then became known as Station A. This gave the station its familiar four-chimney layout. Far from being an eyesore, the station has since become one of London's most famous landmarks and is generally loved.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: , ,

Salisbury Cathedral


Salisbury Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral located in Salisbury, England. The cathedral boasts the tallest church spire in the UK, the largest cloister in England, and one of the four surviving original copies of Magna Carta.

Building commenced when the bishopric was moved to Salisbury from Old Sarum in 1220 during the tenure of Richard Poore. Due to the high water table in the new location, the cathedral was built on only four feet of foundations, and by 1258 the nave, transepts and choir were complete. The west front was ready by 1265. The cloisters and chapter house were completed around 1280. Because the cathedral was built in only 38 years, Salisbury Cathedral has a single consistent architectural style, Early English Gothic.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: , ,

Virtual Tourism on TV


This was kind of a surreal moment for me. I came across this video on YouTube called 'Google Maps Mania on Call For Help'. Now Mike Pegg is a bit of a hero of mine for his wonderful Google Maps Mania blog and being interested in what people are creating with Google Maps I decided to give it a watch. Imagine my surprise then when this site started being reviewed. Fame at last. Thanks for the plug Mike.

Give the video a watch. I'm always amazed at what people are creating with Google Maps and Mike reviews quite a few of them in the show. Virtual Tourism is discussed from about 7 minutes 8 seconds if you're interested.

Oh, and if anyone has any info about the show please leave a comment. I'm based in the UK and I assume this is an American programme.

St Vitus Cathedral, Prague


Saint Vitus Cathedral is a cathedral in Prague, Czech Republic, and the seat of the Archbishop of Prague. The full name of the cathedral is St. Vitus, St. Wenceslas and St. Adalbert Cathedral. Located within Prague Castle and containing the tombs of many Bohemian kings, this cathedral is an excellent example of Gothic architecture and is the biggest and most important church in the country.

The first church, also consecrated to St. Vitus, that stood at the location of the present-day cathedral was an early romanesque rotunda founded by Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia in 925. This patron saint was chosen because Wenceslaus had acquired a holy relic, the arm of St. Vitus, from Emperor Henry I. It is also possible that Wenceslaus, wanting to convert his subjects to Christianity more easily, chose a saint whose name sounds very much like the name of Slavic solar deity Svantevit. Two religious populations, the increasing Christian and decreasing pagan community, lived simultaneously in Prague castle at least until the 11th century.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: , ,

Dover Castle


Dover Castle is situated in Dover, Kent and has been described as the "Key to England" due to its defensive significance throughout history.

The site was probably originally fortified with earthworks in the Iron Age or earlier, before the Romans invaded in AD43 - this is suggested on the basis of the unusual pattern of the earthworks, which do not seem to be a perfect fit for the medieval castle, although archaeological excavation at the Castle has found no evidence of prehistoric activity.

It was during the reign of Henry II that the castle began to take recognisable shape. The inner and outer baileys and the great Keep belong to this time.

Massive rebuilding took place at the end of the eighteenth century, during the Napoleonic Wars, with barracks added and the defences improved (including the eastern redan) as Dover became a garrison town. All this required large numbers of additional soldiers to be housed and conditions in the castle itself had become too crowded. The solution adopted by the Royal Engineers was to create a complex of barracks tunnels about 15 metres below the cliff top and the first troops were accommodated in 1803. At the height of the Napoleonic Wars, the tunnels housed more than 2000 men and to date are the only underground barracks ever built in Britain.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

View on Google Maps

Labels: , ,